In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge we face in the food transition?
2 challenges exist. On the one hand, there is population growth, with a world population that will reach 10 billion people in 2050. It must be possible to guarantee sufficient, healthy and accessible food for all. The food responses adopted must be sustainable and integrate environmental issues. That is the second issue. We have to solve this equation and find the right balance. In these terms, innovation is the key.
What do you like most about your job?
First of all, the IAR cluster has close links with the territory. By territory, I mean the link to the land so characteristic of the bio-economy. The French territory and more particularly the Hauts-de-France region is very rich and allows us to develop, starting from a few things, a lot of solutions to meet tomorrow’s major challenges and particularly the food and energy transitions. I also believe it is essential to be innovation focused. We often hear about decline, but I am firmly convinced that the answer to these transitions must be innovation. This constant search for new practices and solutions is also very stimulating.
What attracted you to the European Plant-based protein Awards?
We are partner of Village By CA since the first edition of the Awards. The theme of the food transition and particularly plant-based protein represents a key axis, we could only get involved. Our territorial anchoring with the Hauts-de-France region is strong. The region has all the necessary resources to develop plant-based protein with committed economic actors, a historical agricultural sector, large companies and startups with internationally recognized innovation skills. In my opinion, there is therefore a mission to develop the territory through these Awards. Our structure has 400 members, 50% of whom are SMEs or startups. We are therefore in our core business through this participation. This is an excellent opportunity to encourage our members to join the program by accompanying them but also to identify new startups.
How does the IAR Cluster involve in this competition?
The IAR cluster is at the heart of an ecosystem dedicated to biosourced and food innovation with a strong action on plant-based protein. We therefore provide the Village By CA Nord de France with the benefit of our unique innovation network through contacts with key players. We aim to generate new partnerships to enrich these Awards. In these terms, we can mention the landing of the initiative on the Plant-Based Foods Summit, a partnership promoted by our structure. We also promote the initiative at national and European levels and participate in the executive aspects of the steering and selection committees. Finally, we will offer support to the winners in order to strengthen their project.